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Earlier today, we learned that American Express would be making a host of major (and some minor) changes to their flagship Platinum card. According to American Express, these changes go into effect on March 30th. Let’s dive into the six changes, and remember, these changes only apply to the personal version of this card, NOT the business version.

platinum-card-old

Out with the old…

Annual fee goes up…

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Effective March 30th, the annual fee on the Platinum will be increasing by $100, from $450 to $550. If you already have this card, you may luck out and “only” have to pay the old annual fee, depending on when your renewal date is:

  • On or before August 31st – old, $450 annual fee in 2017
  • On or after September 1st – new, $550 annual fee in 2017

New bonus category: 5x hotels

“Wow!” you say to yourself–what a great category. Wrong. The 5 points per dollar only applied to hotel bookings booked on amextravel.com. And the kicker? Fine Hotels & Resorts does not qualify for the 5 points per dollar either. I guess I’ll keep using my Hilton Honors Surpass…?

New travel credit: $200 for Uber

Depending on where you live, this could be a great benefit for you. Living in NYC, I generally try to take the subway or the bus, but there are times I’ll take an Uber, and having a “free” ride doesn’t hurt! Don’t get too excited though–it’s $200 over the course of the calendar year–$15 per month January-November and then $35 in December.

Some key information: Each month’s credit expires at the end of that month–no rolling over unused credits. You also don’t need to pay with your Platinum card, just have it linked to your Uber account. This perk also comes with Uber VIP, which means you’ll be matched to drivers with a rating of 4.8 or higher and with a nicer car.

New metal card design

Metal cards seem to be all the rage these days, and American Express is getting in on the action. Additionally, the new card has an altered design, with the card number on the back, rather than the front.

...and in with the new!

…and in with the new!

Complimentary Gold cards

Previously, Authorized User cards for the Platinum cost $45 to add up to 5 cards. Now, you’ll get up to 99 Gold cards for your authorized users, free of charge. It’s good to know, but these cards don’t have the same benefits as the Platinum card, so I’d stay away from this.

Access to more lounges

Per Doctor of Credit, American Express is expanding their global lounge collection, and “cardholders will now have access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.” This is a good benefit, and remember, this will include future Centurion Lounge locations in Hong Kong and Philadelphia scheduled to open later this year.

Conclusion

In the end, the added benefits really don’t justify the extra $100 per year. The one big benefit for me would be the $200 in Uber credits, but my Uber usage is so sporadic that some of the credits might go to waste. My conclusion does come with the caveat that had they also increased the bonus, I might be singing a different tune…

What do you think? Worth it? Better positioned against the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Let us know below!

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